Sophie's Choice: Color or Typography?


Tasteless title, I know, but it got your attention. Today I asked my followers to make the ultimate branding decision: typography or color. What could possibly matter more? Well, it turns out that people have strong opinions when it comes to choosing between the two.


For color:

For typography:


This response really got me thinking. Typography and color are two very different things when it comes to branding. They both allow you to give your brand a point of differentiation from other brands out there. A fun color has the power to instantly catch the eye of a potential customer, while a unique typeface can make you stand out and be easily remembered. But when branding from square one, not everyone has the luxury of choosing both. Budget, conflicting opinions, and even fear might hold someone back from fully embracing both design elements.

So what are you to do? Choose at least one, that’s for sure. Whether it’s your website, logo, business cards, or anything in between, typography and color can only help your brand.

And because I’m Phil, your magical branding godfather, I’ve got some exercises that you can use to narrow down your typography and color selections. Do these when you're looking for some extra guidance and it might get you pointed in the right direction.


Color Questions

1. What colors are prominent in your closet and home? You didn’t just paint your bedroom or living room wall any ordinary color. You chose these colors for a reason. There was a specific reason why you were drawn to them and wanted these colors around you all the time. Tap into that. If your walls are more subdued, perhaps a bright yellow brand color is not be for you.

2. What color do you associate with your passions? Close your eyes and envision your happy place. You might be on a beach with a Mai Tai in hand, basking in the warm glow of the sun. You might be walking in a serene forest with fresh green trees as tall as skyscrapers. Or you might be in a bookstore with light oak bookshelves covered in your favorite titles. These colors, whatever they may be, have value - and might be good for your brand.

3. What color do friends and family associate with you? Take a step back and ask the people who know you best, “When you think of me, what color comes to mind?” You might be surprised by their answers. Whether their in your target audience or not, those who know you best are oftentimes full of great color advice.

Typography Questions

1. What do you want your font to say about you? Jot down a few words about the vibe you want your resume to project. Don’t just write “professional”; choose words like “dynamic,” “refined,” or “trustworthy.”

2. Which fonts do you find yourself gravitating to? And I’m not talking about Comic Sans. Think about the brands you admire. What are their fonts like? What do you like about them? Take what you like and try to emulate it.

3. Which font embodies your personality? Phone a family or friend again, and ask them a simple question: which font most describes you? It might be bold or a bit more subdued. And the beauty of fonts is that there are countless options to fit any sort of personality.

What were your results? Comment below and let me know.

Phil Pallen